Schools certainly look different these days. Education has been inching into the digital realm for some time, but the pandemic pushed the transition into overdrive. Yet while students have adapted to Zoom lessons and a paperless existence, the new normal is not without its downsides.
“It is much more difficult to engage students on [My School Online], as many of them get distracted,” says Christina Cuenca, who teaches seventh and eighth grades at Winston Park K-8 Center in West Dade. Still, she points out that children have been quick to adapt and have “become more apt at using technology to create and submit assignments.”
With all this change, students have certainly earned some time off. Spring break began on Monday for Miami-Dade County Public School students. But with the pandemic still very much in evidence — and Walt Disney World park reservations fully booked — you might be looking for ways to entertain the kids.
We've got you covered. Below, Here are a few New Times-vetted places to take your kids during spring break.
Art Thyme8841 SW 132nd St., Miami
This hands-on art experience in Pinecrest is a kid-friendly space where you can paint canvases and pottery or explore mosaics, glass painting, and clay modeling. Limited capacity and social-distancing measures have been put in place. Alternatively, you can choose the Pottery2Go kit that contains all the materials and instructions delivered free to your front door. Two-hour reservations and pottery kits are available online. Hours and prices vary depending on availability.
Carpool Cinema Wynwood2418 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Share a new experience with your child from the safety and comfort of your own car. Carpool Cinema, Wynwood's new drive-in movie theater, screens a family movie every week. Food is available from the concession and local food partners. Choose from tacos, burgers, or sushi, delivered to your car door — and free popcorn on your first visit. Family movies screen every Thursday through Sunday at 7 p.m. General admission costs $45 per vehicle.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables
Prepare for a breathtaking experience with one of nature’s most delicate creatures. Located in the beautiful Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, the Clinton Family Conservatory offers an exciting experience with its "Wings of the Tropics" exhibit. This relaxing garden, filled with more than 40 species of butterflies, also houses a lab that invites visitors to explore how the delicate insects transform through each stage of life. Before entering, volunteers will explain how to safely walk through the experience according to USDA guidelines. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting, with special hours — from 7 to 10 a.m. — for individuals who identify as vulnerable. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $16 for students with ID, and $12 for kids 6 to 17 (free for children 5 and under and Fairchild members).
HistoryMiami Museum101 W. Flagler St., Miami
This downtown Miami museum offers an exciting and educational experience for kids of all ages. Its permanent exhibit takes the visitor through South Florida’s rich history, including its diverse indigenous cultures. Kids can take an imaginary ride on a pirate ship, visit a pioneer house, and experience a classic 1950s diner. HistoryMiami's current featured exhibit centers on archival photos of Muhammad Ali in Miami. Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free with a reserved ticket.
The Slime Factory at the Falls8888 SW 136th St. Ste. 407A, Miami
Slime is all the rage and now you can experience it without worrying about making a mess in your home. The Slime Factory makes kids feel like little scientists as they create their own personalized slime. Children get to put on their very own lab coats and make personalized slime with different scents and beads. At the end of the experience, they’ll get their very own certificate and selfie from the photo booth. The venue has implemented health and safety measures, including limited capacity, social distancing, and enhanced cleaning procedures. Open Friday from 1 to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets cost $14 to $25.
Splash ‘N Play at Pinecrest Gardens11000 SW 57th Ave., Pinecrest
Pinecrest Gardens has made it possible for kids to have a wet-and-wild time while staying safe. Splash ‘N Play is a water playground located on the beautiful grounds of the old Jungle Island. Temperature checks and hand sanitizer are required for entrance as well as an eight-child capacity limit on the outdoor playground. Open every day from 9 to 11 a.m., noon to 2 p.m., and 3 to 5 p.m. Free with $5 general admission to Pinecrest Gardens.
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